Em Star may have traveled from coast to coast, but she grew up locally right in the Laurel Highlands of western Pennsylvania. You may never know she was a farmer’s daughter, but growing up on a rural cattle ranch solidified her values of hard work, drive, and enthusiasm for a simple yet rich life.
From a young age, Em surrounded herself with entertainment media, communication technology, and of course music. She joined her school’s A/V club in junior high and high school, producing commercials, comedy skits, feature reports, and reading the daily news. In high school, she and her friends created their own independent film troupe and wrote, directed, and produced a full length feature film in addition to several shorter movies. As far as music is concerned, she found her love of it in the late 90s with artists such as the Spice Girls, Savage Garden, and No Doubt. Not only a fan of music, she took it to the next level learning to play the guitar and forming her own all-female band. Her band performed at local festivals, parties, and coffee houses. Em even took the reigns on all aspects of their public relations creating their website, newsletter, album art, press kits and recording of their songs. For her college education, she attended the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown to earn a BA in Communication and a BA in Sociology. She continued to be active in the music scene joining WUPJ radio and performing with various local bands.
Deciding to take her education farther and to see beyond her hometown, Em traveled to Bolivia on a humanitarian service trip, then on to Oregon State University for a graduate education. There she taught courses on women’s studies, volunteered at Girls Rock Camps, and studied audio engineering. Moving to Seattle, WA, she worked with Sarathan Records helping their latest acts gain exposure, hosted her own show for Women Rock Radio, and founded a female-focused music blog Jukebox Heroines. While active, the blog was number one on Google’s search for “women in music blog.” At this time she also recorded her latest album, spent her free time in the indie music scene, and remained active as a critic, creator, and trend watcher in the music business.
In a strange twist of fate, Em landed back in PA in 2011, looking for a new path and a way to continue working in the music industry. In less than six months upon returning home, she interviewed for the night DJ position at Hot, and as they say, the rest is history.
Like any modern girl, her interests are vast and varied. Calling her style “all things that glitter and rust” Em is a huge fan of DIY (Do It Yourself) projects, from up-cycling thrift store clothing, to pressing your own eye shadow. She loves to create diva-style fashion without breaking her budget. She is an avid Netflix watcher, enjoying classic TV shows like Beauty & The Beast, Seinfeld, Baywatch, and more recent shows like South Park, Game of Thrones, and Breaking Bad. Her favorite movies include School Of Rock, The Lord of The Rings, and Back to the Future. While she knows the in and outs of current pop music, she has a peculiar love-affair with 1980s hair bands and 1990s riot grrrl music. Her favorite artists include Lady Gaga, David Guetta, Neon Trees, & Macklemore. She enjoys curling up with her two cats, a great vanilla latte, perfect brownie, and a trashy romance novel on the weekends.
Em brings sass and energy to Hot 92 an Hot 100. She asks the tough questions of her interviewees, such as Christina Aguilera and Janelle Monae on women in the biz, and dominates social media interaction with some of the biggest acts in music from Ne-Yo, LMFAO, Nelly Furtado, Hot Chelle Rae, Lupe Fiasco, and Gavin DeGraw.
Em Star’s show “Em Star Nights” was live from 7pm to midnight weeknights from May 28, 2012 to April 4, 2014. The program featured Jam It or Slam It New Music, NightTime Trivia, The Hot 9 Countdown, Haute Fashion & Beauty, The Pop Culture Redux and Gen DIY.
As of April 7, 2014, Em has moved up to afternoons, 2pm-7pm weekdays with Trivia, The Hot Happy Hour, and of course continuing her original segments The Pop Culture Redux, Haute Fashion & Beauty, and Gen DIY.